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Q&A with Cris Testerman, District Manager at Vans

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Q&A with Cris Testerman, District Manager at Vans

May 11, 2016

Cris Testerman believes if you love what you do, success comes naturally. With more than 15 years of retail experience, Testerman wanted to work for a brand with which he has a personal connection. Growing up in Southern California as a self-proclaimed skateboarding punk, Vans® was the perfect fit.

Testerman joined Vans in 2011 as the Store Manager of the Ala Moana Center store in Honolulu, Hawaii. A few years and promotions later, Testerman is now the District Manager of all stores in North Orange County, California and Hawaii.

What is a typical day for a District Manager for Vans?

The job is equally focused on helping drive sales and developing the associates within each store. On any given week, I’ll visit each store to observe, assess the business, identify areas for growth and work with the Store Managers to create plans for capitalizing on short-term and long-term opportunities.

The rest of my time is spent focusing on my team. One unique thing about Vans is we have a young, energetic workforce. For many associates in the stores, it’s their first job or their first leadership role. Also, the talent we hire has a high appreciation of Vans culture and history, which is infectious and keeps our culture strong and dynamic. I feel most fulfilled at work when I see the growth and development of our talent.

What program have you worked on that you’re most proud of?

One of the programs that I’m proudest to have been a part of is Session Leader, which we use at Vans to run our sales floor. Working alongside other district and store managers, I was able to help develop this program, which was created to drive growth in stores by elevating the customer experience.

In every Vans retail store across the U.S., there is an AM and PM Session Leader. This associate is responsible for the customer experience and sales during their session. This empowers all members of the team to take ownership of their results. The program is a manifestation of Vans’ commitment to growth for its associates and its passion for demonstrating the brand to customers.